• Brighton linked with Cork's Brian Lenihan

    Albion have again been linked with highly-rated Irishman Brian Lenihan - a connection that has been made several times this Summer.

    The Cork City defender has been monitored by a number of clubs, including Premier League Crystal Palace and Hull City. It is believed the Eagles recently had a £130,000 offer for Lenihan rejected by Cork, so an offer in excess of this will be required.

    Lenihan is due to feature tonight as Cork take on Bray Wanderers and some reports have indicated the 20-year-old will also play against Bohemians this weekend before a move across the Irish Sea is finalised. Despite the relatively modest price likely to be required to secure Lenihan, competition could be stiff.

    ”Everyone knows who has watched him," Cork boss John Caulfield told reporters. "Arsenal have, Hull have, we've realised that Manchester United have watched him, Tottenham, Everton and [Aston] Villa have watched him." Competing with Premier League heavyweights would not be easy for the Albion, although the lure of first-team football sooner rather than later is something Lenihan could be tempted with.

    The success of Seamus Coleman, who moved to Everton at a similar age from Sligo Rovers for £60,000, is a sound indicator of the value that can be found in the League of Ireland.

    Lenihan joined Cork City from College Corinthians in 2012 as a central midfielder, but it is at full-back where he really shone. He quickly became a regular in Cork’s back line showing confidence when in possession and a keen attacking instinct. The level of his performances were recognised when he was selected for the Republic of Ireland’s U-21 squad, quickly picking up his first cap.

    Lenihan also sees his future in England in the near future as he looks to continue his development telling the Cork City match day programme "I want to play in England and I want to play at the highest level possible.”

    Playing at right-back, Lenihan would represent the future for the Albion with Spaniards Inigo Calderon and Bruno now both well into their 30s. In the interim, Albion fans would be keen to know if Lenihan could switch to the left and resolve the issue caused by Stephen Ward’s unexpected move to Burnley.
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